IPL Hair Removal
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. IPL uses light energy to target and damage hair follicles to disrupt the hair growth cycle. IPL systems will release controlled pulses of filtered light that are then absorbed by the pigment in hair, melanin. This process thoroughly heats the hair and treats cells responsible for growth, therefore achieving long-term hair reduction.
IPL is similar to a laser treatment. However, a laser focuses just one wavelength of light at your skin, while IPL releases light of many different wavelengths, like a photo flash. Therefore, IPL targets more hair due to its various wavelengths. It is a safer alternative to laser hair reduction; IPL penetrates down to the second layer of your skin (dermis) without harming the top layer (epidermis), so it causes less damage to your skin.
IPL is safe for most people but is not suitable for everyone. The effectiveness of IPL depends on many things. It is safer on white or light brown skin than on darker skin types, for example. This is because the light energy is absorbed by pigment, known as melanin. If you have dark or tanned skin, the IPL will not have a clear target, and will heat the melanin in the surrounding skin tissue, as well as the hair, which can lead to burns.
IPL is also most effective when the hair itself is darker. Darker hair contains the pigment which is its main target. Having fair hair (blonde, red or gray) may mean that you don’t have enough melanin needed for the procedure to be effective. Your hair will not be able to attract the light energy, the hair will not be heated, and the hair follicle will not be treated.
Everyone responds differently to IPL, and most people will need multiple rounds of the treatment before they start to notice results.
Certain factors may make people unsuitable for IPL treatments. These include:
-Cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions in the treatment area
-Client under immunosuppression therapy
-Client with limited movement
-Lack of skin sensation
-Anticoagulants and blood thinner therapy
-Active severe acne
-Active Herpes simplex in the treatment area
-Spray and sunless tans
-Exposure to sun or artificial tanning during the last 4 weeks
-Clients with thrombus or aneurismal section in vein segment
-Clients with peripheral arterial disease
-Active skin diseases in the intended area (e.g. psoriasis, vitiligo)
-Collagen/ scarring/ connective tissue disorders (e.g. scleroderma)
-Untreated heart disease and high blood pressure
-Fragile or thin skin
-Taking of drugs which increases sensitivity to light (e.g. acne medications, antibiotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, St. John’s wort, Gingko biloba)
What to Expect
A licensed, certified professional will use a handheld device to deliver the light therapy to the area desired. During the procedure, you may feel a pinching sensation. Some individuals have described this as a feeling similar to an elastic band being “snapped” on the skin. A cooling handpiece and gel can help overcome this discomfort somewhat. You will be wearing dark glasses to protect your eyes from the bright light.
- To prepare for the procedure, please avoid the following for 4 weeks prior:
sunbathing and tanning beds
chemical peels/ microdermabrasion
- Topical acids in skincare products (e.g. salicylic, glycolic, lactic) and collagen injections/ botox/ fillers should also be discontinued for 1-2 weeks prior to treatment, if face is being treated.
- Immediately before and after therapy, people should also avoid using any perfume or deodorant on the treatment area. The American Society for Dermatological Surgery also advise people not to take any aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, or herbal supplements before the procedure. These medicines can contribute to the risk of pinpoint bleeding.
- Do not shave the day of your appointment. Hair on the area to be treated needs to be a very short stubble, just so you see the hair starting out of the follicle. Everyone is different- so this may be a day or a few days worth, depending on how quickly your hair grows.
Most common side effects are similar to that of sunburn. As with any cosmetic procedure, IPL does carry the risk of complications. While rare, these include:
pain (similar to sunburn)
skin discoloration/ bruising
Chances of complications and their severity are minimized if before and after protocols are followed.
You should be able to go right back to your regular activities, excluding anything that heats up the skin, such as exercise, for at least 48 hours. The treated area of skin will be red and sensitive for a few hours, as if you got sunburned. This tends to last for between 4 and 8 hours. A moist cloth or cool pack can help ease the stinging. Swelling is also common, usually lasting for several days after the procedure.
Your skin will continue to be sensitive for a couple of days after the procedure. You may need to avoid using hot water on it until your skin heals. During the recovery period, avoid putting deodorant or lotion on the treated area until all the swelling has gone. After this time, moisturize the treated area at least twice a day to help with healing.
How Long Will Results Last?
Hair removal typically requires 6 to 12 treatments initially. The frequency and number of sessions necessary will depend on your individual treatment plan and the area to be treated. IPL hair reduction does not entirely reduce the hair follicles, which have great powers of re-growth; therefore it is not considered a permanent solution. Clients can usually see some regrowth within a year after the treatments, thus requiring occasional touchups to keep the area smooth.
Extra Small Area $50
Includes: Upper Lip, Between Brows
Small Area $75
Includes: Chin, Sideburns, Neckline
Medium Area $100
Includes: Basic Bikini, Underarms, Fingers & Toes
Large Area $125
Includes: Lower Arms, Upper Arms, Shoulders
Extra Large Area $150
Includes: Chest, Abdomen, Upper Back, Lower Back, Upper Leg, Lower Leg
Full Arm $200
Full Leg $250
Full Back $250
Buy 5 treatments, get the 6th FREE!